Are You Considering More Than Feet When You Trim And Shoe?

Understanding deviations will guide you in helping the horse, Hall Of Fame farrier tells Summit attendees

In modern brain research, scientists say it takes 10,000 hours to become really competent to where your hands and your mind are all working together, where you don’t have to think about every move you make.

This is something we’ve known for centuries, haven’t we? The average apprenticeship is 4 years long. If you take about 40 to 50 hours a week over 4 years, it adds up to 10,000 hours. That’s 10,000 hours to learn how to properly shoe a horse. That’s great, but there’s so much more to learn.

Limb Deviations

When you first start out, you’re getting good at it. You can get through a horse in a short amount of time. You’re feeling confident. You want the bigger barns and you want the better horses, but you forget to look at the rest of the horse. You forget to look at what else is going on.

Limb deviations have been talked about for centuries, but you have to be careful when talking about them with clients who become very sensitive when you tell them, “Your horse is carpal valgus, fetlock varus, with an axial rotation.” Every horse you work on is perfect in the eyes of the owner. Don’t forget that.

It’s important to look closer at these animals. Look at them from a lot of different directions. Look at the compound deviations. They’re not all the same. They don’t have straight lines that we can put through the limb as in a textbook or on…

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Michael Wildenstein

Michael Wildenstein is one of only three people in the world to have passed the distinguished Fellow of the Worshipful Com­pany of Farriers examination in the United Kingdom with an “Honors” designation. He is the former adjunct associate professor of Farrier Medicine and Surgery in the Department of Clinical Sciences of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.

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